A Black teenager riding a dirt bike was killed while a Boynton Police officer tried to make a traffic stop.
According to CBS 12, police claim 13-year-old Stanley Davis Jr. was riding the bike “recklessly” while going down North Federal Highway near Boynton Beach Boulevard. Video surveillance, which captured the moments before the boy’s death took place, showed Davis pumping gas at a nearby Chevron before the officer pulled in.
Davis then kicked his bike into gear and headed west, out of the camera’s view. He made a U-turn and then came back into the frame while heading north. The patrol car was following close behind, weaving through traffic. Davis reportedly lost control of his bike and hit the curb of the median. The crash sent him into a sign before landing on the street, according to the Florida Highway Patrol incident report.
“At this point in the preliminary investigation, I’ve not seen any evidence or heard any witness testimony that states that the officer’s vehicle came in contact with the dirt bike,” said Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory.
According to the department’s pursuit policy, an officer can only chase a suspect if they believe the person committed a forcible felony. Whether the cop disobeyed that procedure in this incident is still under investigation.
Boynton Beach Mayor Steven B. Grant went to the scene of Davis’ death and spoke with community members who were upset about his passing. “My statement to them was we should not blame the police department for the actions of an individual officer; however the city and police are responsible,” he said in an interview with the outlet.
“The situation that created this didn’t happen just yesterday, this is an aspect of how the city has treated parts of the city for decades, even before I was mayor. So, the city is trying to work with the community to get a resolution so that it’s safer for everyone,” the mayor added.
The police officer is now on paid leave as the Florida Highway Patrol completes its investigation.